Microsoft Messenger for Mac 8 beta released

Microsoft said on Wednesday that it has made a beta available of the latest Microsoft Messenger on the Mac platform.  Dubbed, Messenger for Mac 8, the beta provides several updates from the previous version.

The latest beta, Build 08.00.00.100305 of Messenger for Mac 8 Beta introduces a audio/video feature for Windows Live users. The A/V support is cross-platform compatible and will work with Windows Live Messenger. Mac users will be able to share webcam and audio conversations with each other and their Windows counterparts.

Microsoft said in December 2009 that they would make a beta available in March and true to their word they have successfully done so. The team first demonstrated the A/V support at MacWorld 2009. A planned beta, promised for 2009, never arrived due to some set backs implementing the A/V support. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed "progress has been slower than expected due to the challenge of connecting to the most current A/V code running on the Windows Live servers."

The software is still in beta form and has several known issues such as emoticons not displaying correctly, some video/audio calls do not work on certain configurations and display pictures do not display in the conversation window. Microsoft has not confirmed when a final version will be available.

Download: Messenger for Mac Beta

Thanks to Byron for the screenshots

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54 Comments

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Jared- said,
I love how they still have that big ugly send button...

we need that button in Windows version badly !!!

You Mac guys are funny. So here we have a Microsoft application that was ported to run on a Mac and you expect it to be updated as often as the Mesenger for Windows? Next you will be crying about Microsoft Office on a Mac not being updated as often as the version on Windows.. oh wait.. you do that too!

Why not just move to using a Microsoft operating system to use those Microsoft applications on instead?

KrAzY FrOg said,
You Mac guys are funny. So here we have a Microsoft application that was ported to run on a Mac and you expect it to be updated as often as the Mesenger for Windows? Next you will be crying about Microsoft Office on a Mac not being updated as often as the version on Windows.. oh wait.. you do that too!

Why not just move to using a Microsoft operating system to use those Microsoft applications on instead?

Actually, you'll find that Office is pretty much updated on a similar schedule on both platforms, but on opposite years.

The last two releases on each platform:
Office 2003 for Windows
Office 2004 for Mac
Office 2007 for Windows
Office 2008 for Mac

Now with Office 2010, both are getting another update. However, although they are currently calling Office for Mac "2010", I have a feeling it will be released as Office 2011 since it is coming out late this year.

Now, Mac users' issue with Messenger is a totally different thing. They have been promising (and delaying) A/V support for the Mac version for 6+ years now. Then they release this beta, which is barely changed from the leaked beta from last year. That is a huge slap in the face to many Mac users who have been patiently waiting for an updated release.

Edited by roadwarrior, Mar 26 2010, 12:55pm :

KrAzY FrOg said,
You Mac guys are funny. So here we have a Microsoft application that was ported to run on a Mac and you expect it to be updated as often as the Mesenger for Windows? Next you will be crying about Microsoft Office on a Mac not being updated as often as the version on Windows.. oh wait.. you do that too!

Why not just move to using a Microsoft operating system to use those Microsoft applications on instead?

Well since Apple updates Safari, iTunes and (previously) QuickTime on Windows at the same time they update them on the Mac, the least MS can do is simply return the favor. iTunes is much more complex than MSN and is still updated at the same time.

PsykX said,

Well since Apple updates Safari, iTunes and (previously) QuickTime on Windows at the same time they update them on the Mac, the least MS can do is simply return the favor. iTunes is much more complex than MSN and is still updated at the same time.

+1,000,000!! Apple is actually kind (and not lazy) enough to actually share all of the features of these programs across operating systems as STANDARD!! ... What has the Messenger team done in the last decade? barely working custom emoticons?

roadwarrior said,
Now with Office 2010, both are getting another update. However, although they are currently calling Office for Mac "2010", I have a feeling it will be released as Office 2011 since it is coming out late this year.

Eh no. Microsoft is already calling it "Office for Mac 2011"...

What the hell is that "assistant" when you run it for the first time? It couldn't be more Microsoft-ish.

And I can't get my cam to be bigger, I don't even see myself,and my contact occupies the half portion of my screen.... on the TOP. Hey MS, I have a widescreen monitor, maybe the webcams should be on the RIGHT?

I'm really wondering how they design their stuff sometimes... But hey, we finally have it.

Nice! Too bad I abandoned the Mac a few weeks ago, but Microsoft seriously should bring this over to Windows as WLM Lite or something. WLM 2009 is far too bloated for my liking.

The software is still in beta form and has several known issues such as emoticons not displaying correctly, some video/audio calls do not work on certain configurations and display pictures do not display in the conversation window.

What the **** is this? What on earth did you spend the last several years doing? It's like the MacBU purposefully hold meetings on how to disappoint Mac fans. Office and Messenger both look like toilet.

PureLegend said,

What the **** is this? What on earth did you spend the last several years doing? It's like the MacBU purposefully hold meetings on how to disappoint Mac fans. Office and Messenger both look like toilet.

its'... er... a beta?

AgentGray said,

its'... er... a beta?


Emoticons not displaying correctly: basic feature, silly error to have after all this time.
Some A/V not working: if it's still not working after all this time, they haven't got much hope.
Display pictures not appearing: basic feature.

It's a pretty ****-poor effort from the worlds largest software company.

what said,

Emoticons not displaying correctly: basic feature, silly error to have after all this time.
Some A/V not working: if it's still not working after all this time, they haven't got much hope.
Display pictures not appearing: basic feature.

It's a pretty ****-poor effort from the worlds largest software company.

Since when is seeing a display picture/emotion a basic feature? To me.. contact list and messaging windows are basic features, if those are broken then theres a problem. Everything else is really just an addition. (NOT basic)

DarkNovaGamer said,

Since when is seeing a display picture/emotion a basic feature? To me.. contact list and messaging windows are basic features, if those are broken then theres a problem. Everything else is really just an addition. (NOT basic)

Perhaps simple would be a better word.

DarkNovaGamer said,

Since when is seeing a display picture/emotion a basic feature? To me.. contact list and messaging windows are basic features, if those are broken then theres a problem. Everything else is really just an addition. (NOT basic)

Except the problem with your reasoning is that the things you mention were already working in the previous version.

what said,
Emoticons not displaying correctly: basic feature, silly error to have after all this time. Some A/V not working: if it's still not working after all this time, they haven't got much hope. Display pictures not appearing: basic feature.

It's a pretty ****-poor effort from the worlds largest software company.

And if you've been reading the blog posts by Microsoft developers, they've had to do a lot of re-writing of code; the protocol supported by Microsoft Messenger 7 is ancient where as the Windows version offers P2P file transferring rather than having to go through the server being one example of that. If you want to blame someone, blame the services and communications server people not getting together years ago and agreeing on a single protocol for the communications server and Messenger service.

A bit to late for me. Already using Trillian for OS X. Has everything I need at the moment (not feature-complete yet though).

Good to hear it's moving again, it's been a long time since the ealier leaked beta. shame that there's such an extensive bug list though.

You gotta be ******* kidding me! The same dated interface? What they hell have they been doing the past years?! Basically every single developer managed to incorporate a borderless design except for those retards at Microsoft.

Wow. How about a UI change boys? A/V is nice and a huge addition. But giving the app a makeover would be nice too...

NeoXY said,
Wow. How about a UI change boys? A/V is nice and a huge addition. But giving the app a makeover would be nice too...

Oooh, don't tempt them because you know that they'll include adverts if they do redesign the UI. Keep the UI simply because one only needs to look at the UI on Windows which is a friggin screen hogging pig of absolute ugliness.

Pam14160 said,
Never used a Messenger application before (40 years of computing). It is something that I might find useful?

if a lot of your friends use it, yes. Wait, you've never used ANY messenger app? Like AIM, gchat, skype AT ALL?

Edited by Brent1700, Mar 24 2010, 6:41pm :

Pam14160 said,
Never used a Messenger application before (40 years of computing). It is something that I might find useful?

Only if you have friends that use it, ive probably used MSN almost every day I have used a computer in the last 10 years. I remember thinking of it as a free phone back when i was a kid.